In The Last Kingdom, when fans first meet the main character Uhtred, his name is Osbert (Tom Taylor). He’s just a boy and the son of Lord Uhtred (Matthew Macfadyen) of Bebbanburg. He’s second in line to his family’s ancestral home. In the first scene we see him in, he has an important heirloom that reminds him of his home.
From Osbert to Uhtred in ‘The Last Kingdom’
In the ninth century, Osbert is just a boy when he sees Viking ships on the horizon. The Danes have come to Northumbria near Bebbanburg, and it poses a risk for Osbert and his family.
Osbert’s older brother, Uhtred (Balázs Medveczky), is sent to watch the Vikings and report back how many there are. But he fights them instead, and he’s killed. A man named Earl Ragnar (Peter Gantzler), a leader of the Vikings, comes to Bebbanburg and brings Uhtred’s head with him.
Osbert is then made the heir, and he’s saddened by the loss of his brother. After the death of Uhtred, his father declares that Osbert’s name is now Uhtred. He’s quickly rebaptized as Uhtred at Father Beocca’s (Ian Hart) insistence, but his life is about to change.
Uhtred’s heirloom from Bebbanburg
When we first meet Osbert, he’s looking out of a piece of amber fashioned into a necklace. It’s an important heirloom that he carries with him. It was given to him by his father when he was born according to the Fandom page for the sword he has the amber placed in.
When Uhtred is an adult, he has a sword called “Serpent-Breath” made in which he has the piece of amber put into the pommel. At Oxnaforda (Oxford) Uhtred enlists the help of a blacksmith to forge him “a warrior’s sword to last a lifetime.” They agree on eight pieces of silver for the work, but Uhtred is so pleased, he pays 10.
It’s a staple part of the series from then on, as Uhtred is always carrying around his sword with the amber at the end. He uses it in battle, and it can be seen with him countless times.
Not much else is known about the heirloom from Bebbanburg, but it’s something Uhtred clearly treasures and keeps with him throughout his life.
Uhtred’s world changes drastically
Back when young Uhtred is first renamed from Obsert, his father, Lord Uhtred rides off with warriors to fight the Vikings along with the kings of Northumbria at Eoferwic, or York. When Uhtred learns of his father’s departure, he rides out on his horse with a sword and shield to help fight as well. The Viking Ragnar is joined by Ubba (Rune Temte), and Guthrum (Thomas W. Gabrielsson) as they fight against the Saxons.
Uhtred’s father unfortunately dies after charging through a shield wall. He’s attacked and then killed when a Viking stabs him with his sword in the neck. Uhtred watches his father’s death, and he runs out on the battlefield to fight, and he happens to choose Ragnar to go up against. Uhtred is quickly disarmed and thrown to the ground. But he continues fighting and is knocked in the face and becomes unconscious.
Although originally taken as a slave in Ragnar’s household, Uhtred grows up as a part of the family when they adopt him as a son. He becomes a full-fledged Viking, assimilating to their ways. But tragedy strikes again when Kjartan (Alexandre Willaume), a former shipmaster of Ragnar’s and his son, Sven (Ole Christoffer Ertvaag), partner up with Uhtred’s uncle, Aelfric (Joseph Millson), who is now Lord of Bebbanburg. They burn Ragnar’s home at Leeds, killing almost everyone inside.
Uhtred is away at the time, and it sparks a major life crisis for him to figure out where he belongs: with the Danes or with the Saxons. Revenge is in the forefront of his mind for years to come when it comes to avenging his family and getting his ancestral home of Bebbanburg back.